Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 1.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
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Speeches in Virginia, Illinois [1]

February 22, 1844

The Cass County Clay Club met at Virginia on the 22d. T. M. Kilpatrich [2], Esq. addressed the meeting. Subsequently John Pierson, [3] Esq. appeared, and asked the privilege of setting forth the beauties of Locoism in a speech; which was acceded to.---Mr. Lincoln replied to him, and if any thing was left of Pierson's statementsPage  333 or arguments unanswered or unrefuted, our informant, after the most minute examination, was not able to make the discovery.

He [Judge John Pearson] was followed by A. LINCOLN, Esq. in an able and eloquent speech, characterised by his well known ability. He made a clean shucking of the Judge, pointing out the fallacy of his arguments and disproving most of his statements. Mr. L. made a most able and conclusive argument on the Bank question, proving that it was no new fangled scheme, but one advocated and carried out by the fathers of the Republican school. His speech was received by repeated and rapturous applause.

Mr. Lincoln commenced and tried to show that because Washington and Madison signed the U.S. Bank Bill, therefore it was constitutional. He labored hard to prove that Washington never done a wrong thing in his life; that Clay was honest in changing his party and his bank notions; he launched into the State Bank system, and said that the democrats chartered our State Bank, and all the State Banks were chartered by the democrats; that the majority of the directors (of democrats) had authorized the suspension in 1837, and intimated that the democrats had been for it, (the State Bank) ever since, and told his old calf story and made up his hour. Judge Pearson claimed his right of reply. . . .

In the evening, I am told, the whigs had a meeting of the Clay Club, and the speakers let themselves out, for they were under no restraint. Lincoln talked of the tariff, though in the day he carefully avoided that subject, and said, in conclusion, that a good argument might be made on both sides, when he got thro' he told his brethren he wanted to meet with them in the morning before he took his departure. . . .

Annotation

[1]   Sangamo Journal, February 29, 1844; March 28, 1844. Illinois State Register, March 15, 1844 (last two excerpts).

[2]   Thomas M. Killpatrick, Whig state senator from Scott County.

[3]   Judge John Pearson.

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